Zionist advocacy organisation SA Israel Israel Public Affairs Committee (SAIPAC) issued a statement objecting to Hamas and Hezbollah signage on a house in the Cape-Malay Quarter of Cape Town this week. Despite claims to the contrary, says SAIPAC, “everything points to them being an official presence.”
“The Arabic writing boldly displayed on 16 Jordaan Street reads Hamas and Hezbollah. Whilst they may claim that this is not an official office of Hamas, why do they need a massive radio antenna with which they could be in contact with Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, although modern technology, encryption and communications do render this slightly obsolete?” SAIPAC asks Die Burger.
“It might be worth finding out if they have all the official licenses for radio transmitters. What makes us doubt that this house represents merely a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah is this massive radio antenna on this building's roof. We fully expect a glib answer dismissing any questions.”
SAIPAC had taken pictures of the house (ABOVE & BELOW STORY) and asked Die Burger to investigate. The SAIPAC communique below lists the questions Die Burger posed to them after a cursory investigation, and their reply.
SAIPAC points out that “the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza have been, and still are, mortal enemies despite attempts at reconciliation.” Adds SAIPAC: “The Palestinian Authority is recognised in SA and has an ambassador here and we doubt that they would be too enamoured that South Africa recognises a Hamas office in Cape Town.”
The occupants of 16 Jordaan Street claim that they are only supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah, and not an official presence in South Africa of the two organisations.
SAIPAC’s communique to members
Hamas sets up shop in the Cape-Malay Quarter, Cape Town South Africa
I received the following from a senior journalist at Die Burger, the Cape Town Afrikaans newspaper, regarding the Hamas house at 16 Jordaan Street, between Pepper and Upper Bloem Streets in the Bo-Kaap, the Malay-Quarter, in Cape Town:
I spoke to the family that lives at 16 Jordaan Street this morning. What was said to me that it (is) their home (and) is not an office for Hamas, but that they support the organisation.
May I ask you a few questions, though, on the record:
• Do you think the Palestinian flag should be removed, including the words Hamas?
• If so, why?
• Why would it be wrong if Hamas had an office in South Africa?
• If South African people of Jewish descent are allowed to support organisations of their own choice, why would this family not be allowed to support Hamas?
Hersch’s answers to Die Burger
In answer to your questions:
1. South Africa has relations with the Palestinian Authority and under the circumstances we don't object to the use of the Palestinian flag by their representative and if individuals wish to express their support for the Palestinian cause, that is their business.
South Africa however totally finances the Palestinian ambassador and all their embassy expenses which has cost the South African taxpayers R38.4 million over the past three years. [Read MyShtetl’s COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE of this story last year -ED] South Africa contributes in other ways to the Palestinians:
• Firstly, contributions are made to the United Nations Regional Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) “to support relief efforts for Palestinian Refugees”. This, together with a special “Emergency Relief” payment after operation Cast Lead had cost SA taxpayers R6.2 million over the past five years. There may have been funding to this account prior to the accounting as is the case with the next item.
• Secondly, there is the funding of the Palestinian Ambassador and Embassy in Pretoria – a practice that begun in 1994/95. Over the years 2006/07 to 2011/12 (current financial year) SA taxpayers have funded the Ambassador and Embassy to the tune of 7.4 million.
• The third leg of the previously unknown funding of the Palestinians is the most recently-introduced and by far the largest use of SA taxpayer money. South Africa granted an amount of US$1 million (R7.8-m) per year for three years to assist in Capacity Building - to build skills and institutions in Palestine. These grants were for financial years 2009/11- through to the current year. In the first year an additional R1.4 million was allocated for the training of Palestinian diplomats.
The information comes from the public record after an answer by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on 6 August 2010 to DA MP S Mokalapa.
Surely our taxes should feed South Africa’s hungry, shelter our homeless, improve healthcare and schooling? Do the pressing needs of South Africa’s citizens come second to funding the Palestinians who receive enormous amounts of money and assistance from the USA, EU, UN and far less in proportion from the Arab oil states? Funding of the Palestinians is acknowledged as the greatest amount of assistance ever in the history of the world and far exceeds the costs of rebuilding Europe after World War II. Money stolen by the leaders of the Palestinian Authority is well known and legendary and justifies a story on its own.
An irony in all the funding of the Palestinians by South Africa is that South African Jewish tax payers are contributing whether they like it or not.
2. The Arabic writing boldly displayed on 16 Jordaan Street reads Hamas and Hezbollah. Whilst they may claim that this is not an official office of Hamas, why do they need a massive radio antenna with which they could be in contact with Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, although modern technology, encryption and communications do render this slightly obsolete? It might be worth finding out if they have all the official licenses for radio transmitters. What makes us doubt that this house represents merely a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah is this massive radio antenna on this building's roof. We fully expect a glib answer dismissing any questions.
We should remember that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza have been and still are mortal enemies despite attempts at reconciliation. Whilst Hamas won an election, they nevertheless staged a coup in taking over Gaza from the Palestinian Authority and do not enjoy UN and world recognition. Hamas are regarded by most Western Countries as a terrorist organisation. The Palestinian Authority is recognised in South Africa and has an ambassador here and we doubt that they would be too enamoured that South Africa recognises a Hamas office in Cape Town.
Despite the claims of the occupants of 16 Jordaan Street that they are only supporters of Hamas and Hezbollah, everything points to them being an official presence in South Africa because of the way it is presented.
3. As far as the right to support various organisations is concerned, we have answered this in 1 above. Public display of support for any terrorist organisation is and should be unacceptable. This would be akin to showing public support for Al Qaeda, and the banned South African Muslim organisations such as Qibla and PAGAD or any other terrorist organisations around the world, of which there are many. Would an Al Qaeda flag and public display in the manner of this house be acceptable?
Your use of the description “people of Jewish descent” is used by persons such as former Minister Ronnie Kasrils and non-Jewish individuals who may have had a Jewish parent, grandparent or ancestor. Jews take their religious inheritance from their mothers. Those of us who are Jewish don’t and never use this inventive and politically convenient terminology. We are Jewish. I am Jewish and proudly so, as were my ancestors and because my mother’s maiden name was Cohen, I can trace my ancestry all the way back to Aaron, brother of Moses.
You may be interested in this YouTube report:
True accounts of terrorism against Christian civilians in Gaza by Hamas CLICK FOR VIDEO
UNRWA stands for United Nations Relief and Works Agency. This UN Agency is the only agency dedicated to one ethnic group of refugees – the so-called Palestinian Arabs who are no different from any of the surrounding Arab people and were economic opportunists and indentured labour by the British during their Mandate over the area from the surrounding countries in less than the last one hundred years.
UNRWA also stands in stark contrast to UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), which works on behalf of all the world’s refugees, except the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians and who come under the UNRWA mandate.
Your last question displayed a profound lack of knowledge of the Hamas Charter, which calls for the extermination of not only the Jewish state, but of all Jews everywhere on the planet. Also, to make a moral equivalence between Jewish organisations and Hamas is, frankly, quite loathsome. This is why we object to a Hamas House in the Bo-Kaap and anywhere else.
Hamas in Cape Quarter.jpg